Drive-thru coronavirus clinic reopens

·2 min read

Sep. 13—Due to cases of COVID-19 significantly rising locally and more people getting tested, Caldwell UNC Health Care's drive-thru respiratory diagnostic clinic (RDC) reopened as of Monday.

The clinic originally opened in March of 2020, when testing for COVID-19 was scarce. The clinic closed in March of 2021, but Laura Easton, CEO of Caldwell UNC Healthcare, said there has always been a plan to reopen the drive-thru clinic if cases began to rise again.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in tests performed on a daily basis. It's around 150-200 tests per day within our urgent care locations" she said.

Caldwell UNC healthcare has five Urgent Care locations that offer testing, evaluation, and treatment for non-emergencies- Anderson PLUS Urgent Care, Blowing Rock PLUS Urgent Care, The Falls Pediatric PLUS Urgent Care, Robbins PLUS Urgent Care, and RiverCrest PLUS Urgent Care, she said. Since the beginning of August, there have been 2,618 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Caldwell County, with 30 current hospitalizations in the county.

Easton said another reason behind the expansion of testing sites was to eliminate the number of people going to the Caldwell Memorial Hospital emergency room.

"The ER is full of sick people, and these sites add an additional capacity of 125-150 tests to be administered a day," she said.

The RDC at RiverCrest Medical Park is located at 160 River Bend Drive, Granite Falls. Standard hours of operation are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No appointment or referral is required, according to a statement issued by Caldwell UNC Health Care.

In addition, Caldwell UNC Health Care has opened a COVID-19 travel testing site at Hancock Surgery Center, 1031 Morganton Boulevard, SW, Lenoir. This site was specifically created to accommodate those who need a recent test for traveling. Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and results are available within 24 hours. The travel site is available only to individuals who have not been exposed to COVID-19, and have had no COVID-19 symptoms for at least 10 days, the statement says.

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

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